BIOL 481 & 481L: Tropical Island Ecology & Evolution
July 3 - 31, 2017
WHERE: Hawai`i Island
-Pu`uwa`awa`a Dry Forest
-UHH BIOL 481 Tropical Island Ecology & Evolution
Due to their extreme isolation and environmental variation, the Hawaiian Islands are one of the world's biodiversity "hotspots". Over 90% of the terrestrial plants and animals in Hawai`i are found nowhere else in the world. It holds the unfortunate distinction of having the greatest number of endangered species of any U.S. state. Invasive species, climate change, and habitat degradation pose significant challenges to Hawai'i's ecosystems, making it a vitally important case study for biodiversity conservation.
Tropical Island Ecology and Evolution
Students will work with University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo faculty and other experts to design and carry out individual research studies in a variety of natural areas on Hawaiʻi Island. Through lectures and field-trips to ecosystems such as coastal strand, active volcanoes, tropical rainforest, tropical dry forest, and even alpine tundra, students will learn about the processes of competition, dispersal, primary succession, restoration, speciation and extinction, and the various factors that threaten island biodiversity.
- Identify and understand the key processes that influence the ecology and evolution of tropical island systems
- Apply the knowledge of island ecosystems gained from this course to address conservation issues in a variety of fragmented landscapes across the globe
- Discuss conceptual issues underlying current research topics in tropical island environments
- Evaluate and discuss scientific research critically
- Successfully design and carry out all aspects of a field research project
Course Syllabus & Schedule
- Week 1:
- University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
- Hawaiʻi Volcano National Park
- Puʻuwaʻawaʻa Dry Forest
- Week 3:
- Waipio Valley - Pōhāhā i ka Lani
- Week 4:
- University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Hakalau Forest Biological Field Station
- Dr. Kristina Paxton, Course Co-Coordinator, Department of Biology, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo; movement ecology, avian disease, conservation genetics.
- Dr. Patrick Hart, Resource Faculty, Department of Biology, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo; forest bird ecology and behavior, acoustic ecology.
- Dr. Rebecca Ostertag, Resource Faculty, Department of Biology, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo; forest ecology, nutrient cycling, restoration, long-term forest dynamics
$1,500 Resident Tuition
$2,175 Non Resident Tuition
Course Fees: $2250
Tuition includes five academic credits awarded through the University of Hawaiʻi for participants from eligible academic institution. Material fee covers complete room, board, course materials and equipment. Airfare to Hawaiʻi and incidental expenses are not included. A limited number of partial, need-based scholarships are available, with first priority to students from UH Hilo and OTS Consortium member institution.
Students must be at least 18 years or older at the start of the course and have completed one full year of biology courses at the undergraduate level.
March 1, 2017 for priority consideration, followed by an open enrollment until filled; 16 participants maximum.
For more information
View Trop Talk video for a short description of the course.
- Dr. Kristina Paxton
- Enrollment Management